REVIEW: La Dispute/Koji – Never Come Undone

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Artist: La Dispute / Koji
Album: Never Come Undone (Split)
Label: No Sleep Records

Never Come Undone is a 4-track split EP from artists Koji and La Dispute. It is the second split for both bands, the second EP for Koji, and the seventh for La Dispute. The EP runs just over 15 minutes and as was, quite frankly, an interesting listen.

The split alternates artists every other track. Starting the EP off is the repetitive and frantic “Sunday Morning, at a Funeral” by La Dispute. To be frank, I do not get it. The vocal melody is truly annoying and repetitive. So much so that after the first two listens, I just skip it. The entire song is about the occurrences on a normal Sunday morning. 90% of the lines in the song’s lyrics begin with “Sunday morning…” That is all. It is simply an annoying song.

La Dispute is a Grand Rapids, Michigan band with five members. Their fan base is growing, and for some, this may be the perfect band. They are striving to create a new post-hardcore style with blues, rock, and soul elements in addition to the screaming that is evident in the more popular post-hardcore genre now. For me, it just does not click.

Second on the split is “Peacemaker” by Koji. To those who have not heard Koji, listen to the more subtle The Rocket Summer songs and you will have a good idea of his sound (for this record at least). The similarities to TRS are slight, and only complimentary. Koji thoroughly impressed me with this song. It is sincere, well written, and a great reprieve from La Dispute.
Let me give you some background on the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native, Andrew “Koji” Shiraki. Andrew is a strong advocate of social justice. He has advocated for groups such as Resolve, which raises awareness of the use of child soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army. He also has aided Humanity Now, a homelessness awareness group. Shiraki is the true definition of artist. His performances include not only music, but art, stories, and positive messages for youth. I will be following him closely, just as Alternative Press has been. This year, Koji was named as one of Alt Press’ 100 Bands You Need to Know in 2011.

Continuing with the review, I will give you a look at La Dispute’s second track, “Last Blues.” It sounds a lot like “Sunday Morning” and I am honestly just as interested. La Dispute’s vocal patterns are short and hesitant. Their songs are not exactly something you can sing along to like Koji or any other band for that matter. This song is depressing. It deals with a wife leaving her family and the husband dealing with the loss. Heavy material, but I am not interested.
If you are like me, by this time you will be really hoping for more from Koji. With the next track, “Biomusicology,” you will be rewarded for your suffering. This is by far the best song on the EP and unquestionably one of my new favorite singles. “Biomusicology” not only has a name that inspires the listener to think more critically about the “science” of music, but it also leaves them wanting more. By “more,” I do not mean more from the album, not more from the artist, but more from the song. “Biomusicology” is a song that I wish could just continue playing forever.

Yeah. It is that good.

This EP is all about Koji. I expect him to be gaining a lot of ground within the next year. Listen while he is still “indie”! In all seriousness, Never Come Undone is not worth the $9.99 iTunes has displayed for the pre-order. I suggest waiting for the price to drop to around 5 or six dollars before purchasing. Or, buy the Koji’s tracks individually. They are worth your money.

Score 7/10
Review Written by: Jacob Tender

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Fiend4soccer

    Well. I’m truly sorry you don’t understand the beauty behind La Dispute. Their body of work all intertwines and connects and this split was a beautiful addition and another perspective on what they have been building.

  • Conner

     it’s worth noting that “Last Blues” is a re-imagining of “Last Blues for Bloody Knuckles” of their debut full length…

  • la chute

    It’s also worth noting that, while Koji does an excellent cover, “Biomusicology” is a Ted Leo song.